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US journalist released from Syria 'overwhelmed with emotion'

A US journalist released earlier this week after almost two years of imprisonment in Syria said he was "overwhelmed with emotion" because of the attention he has received upon returning home.

Peter Theo Curtis, 45, was captured in 2012 by Nusra Front and was only released on Sunday.

He said: "I suddenly remember how good the American people are, and what kindness they have in their hearts."

Meanwhile, Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, who is suspected of fighting with Islamic State militants operating in Iraq and Syria, has been killed in the Middle East, a US security official has said.

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Biden welcomes Iraq's 'step towards new government'

US Vice President Joe Biden has congratulated Iraq's President Fouad Massoum on the nomination of a new Prime Minister.

In a readout of a phone call between the two, the White House said the Vice President "commended [Massoum] for meeting this key milestone and reiterated President Obama’s repeated calls for the timely creation of a new, more inclusive government".

He added that President Obama is keen to "boost coordination" with the Iraqi administration to "roll back gains by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant".

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